It's been 2 months since we last posted on here. It's felt futile to promote a business with a future as uncertain as ours, and it's felt a little obnoxious to post photos of outdoor adventures when so many people are trapped in concrete jungles.
We hope that domestic and local travel will start up again soon. International travel is likely still a long way off, either once we have a vaccine or once the results of lifting restrictions is better known. Our hope is that even once we welcome visitors again to Banff town and the surrounding national parks that those visitors come with a slightly different attitude. We hope to educate people on the correct etiquette on how to travel within these spaces, to keep the animals wild and prolong their lives.
Yes, we have stunningly "instagrammable" locations. Yes, the national parks were established in order to protect them along with educating the visitors and providing a place for them to enjoy. But the last few years have seen unprecedented numbers of crowds, mostly within the Banff townsite and at the viewpoints of Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and Peyto Lake. Parks Canada have been scrambling to manage these numbers of visitors, and we can't help but feel that this summer is going to provide a welcome respite, a time to breathe and allow nature to have a bit of space to regroup and regrow.
For the first time since World War II, on April 10th 2020 the Fairmont Banff Springs closed its doors to visitors. We just heard that the hotel plans to reopen on June 1st, and although the doors were closed the staff were busy creating really cool videos like this one:
Other hotels opening their doors at the beginning of June include the Rimrock Resort on June 5th, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, opening June 1st like it's sister property in Banff and Cathedral Mountain Lodge on July 1st.
I took this video on Banff Avenue on Friday 8th May at 6:30pm. I haven't spent much time venturing out due to the stay home recommendations, and it was so surreal to see this usually packed spot completely devoid of people or traffic!
It's getting busier in town now with local tourists arriving for days out.
The Alberta Government has provided a list of precautions to take whilst getting outside:
Examples of permitted activities include:
- going for walks, bike rides or flying kites
- gardening in community settings
- visiting parks (check provincial or national parks for restrictions before visiting)
- activities in public or private facilities that municipalities or operators have reopened:
- lakes, parks and trails
- open fields like soccer pitches or ball diamonds
- sports courts
- activities at outdoor facilities that have been allowed to reopen:
- golf courses
- outdoor gun ranges
Check out the full re-launch strategy here.
If you're curious about what is open in Banff these days the Town of Banff has this awesome list which they update as more and more local businesses re-open.
Finally, Banff Lake Louise Tourism also has a comprehensive list on what to consider before coming to Banff National Park, and we'll do our own blogs highlighting different factors over the coming weeks.
Here's hoping we can lift the restrictions and remain sensible so that another wave of the virus doesn't put a hold on enjoying the summer the way we plan!
Stay safe, stay healthy and happy and we hope to be hiking with you again very soon.